Sinn Fein call for united stand over loyalist feud in Larne
A second arson attack on a house in Larne within a matter of months has led a high profile republican spokesman to call on unionists to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with him in tackling an ongoing feud among loyalist factions in the town.
Oliver McMullan, a Sinn Fein activist in east Antrim, told the Belfast Telegraph that he has received threats by telephone and via social media for speaking out about a spiralling series of incidents this year.
Now he's calling for a forum of elected representatives from across the political spectrum to unite against criminal activity in the Co Antrim town.
Police have confirmed that a vacant property on the Killyglen Road was attacked in the early hours of Monday. In a statement, Det Sgt Crothers said: "At approximately 1am, police received reports that a front window had been smashed and a number of petrol bombs were thrown into it, causing scorch damage to the front room."
In April, two men were arrested after a stolen car was driven into the same house and set alight.
The attack took place at around 5pm on a Sunday and left neighbours in adjoining properties shocked and fearful that their homes could also catch fire. One of those arrested was later charged with endangering life with intent, making threats to kill and intimidation.
When asked if the latest incident was linked to a series of attacks in Larne involving loyalist paramilitaries, a PSNI spokesperson said: "Police are following all lines of inquiry in relation to this incident."
However, Mr McMullan says he is no doubt that feuding loyalists are responsible and called on the PSNI to take a more robust course of action.
"This house was attacked before when a car was drawn up against it and set on fire. This is a clear message to the person that owns it that it will not be renovated again. What we are seeing here is the UVF and UDA cleaning house and setting themselves up as judge and jury, while they themselves are involved in drug-trafficking, punishment beatings and shootings," he said.